Subject: travel in Costa Rica
Good Morning and Happy New Year to All!

I was very pleased to see questions about traveling in Costa Rica. This is one of the nicest places to visit in Latin America and the people are wonderful. After spending 2 weeks there in 2001, we plan to return in May of this year. (my trip report on 2001 should be in the Travelzine archives). Because we go to CR mainly for birding, we hire a guide who is absolutely phenomenal. We stay out of the city and off the crowded beaches - and the beaches will be crowded from now through Easter as this is summer or high season. Doing a search on Google will get you all sorts of information. If you are looking for small, reasonable-priced BnBs near the airport, check out Casa Maria http://www.costarica.org/Old/ and Vida Tropical http://www.vidatropical.com/ for really good deals. The guys who run these two places are extremely helpful in getting you drivers, telling you which buses to take, etc. Both Bill and Jose are really nice people! I would also advise not driving yourself. Although the country and people are wonderful, most of the roads are not! Around San Jose and the suburbs, the streets and roads are decent but very crowded as most of the inhabitants live in that area. Out in the countryside (where we like to go), there are places where the potholes could swallow a small car. There are many drivers for hire who are good as well as reasonably priced. There is a public bus line as well as some private ones that have regular schedules to many places. For one of the private ones, check out Fantasy which is associated with Grayline http://www.fantasy.co.cr/fantasy_bus.html

Whatever you do, have a wonderful time, eat some gallo pinto and drink some of the wonderful coffee for me. I can hardly wait to get back! Hope this has been of some help. Write with questions if you need to.....

Pura Vida, Ruth Marie in Colorado